Image: © Zoos SA

Phascogales Returned to the Wild by Zoos SA


The Animal Facts Editorial Team


March 3, 2023 7:45 pm


Mallee Cliffs, New South Wales, Australia

A group of 21 red-tailed phascogales are set to return to the wild helping to restore the population of this species within New South Wales where they had previously gone extinct. The animals were bred at Adelaide Zoo in South Australia and will be released in to the wild at Mallee Cliffs National Park on March 3 2022.

The breeding program for the red-tailed phascogale is part of a partnership between Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). Individuals bred under the program are released in to fenced sanctuaries such as the one at Mallee Cliffs where they are safe from introduced predators.

These 21 individuals, 11 females and 10 males will join 93 red-tailed phascogales which have been released at the site over the last two years. Through these releases the species has been returned from extinction in New South Wales having not previously been recorded in the state for many years.

Zoos SA’s Conservation Coordinator, Lisa West, said the Zoos SA team worked with AWC ecologists to fit each phascogale with a tiny specially-designed tracking collar, which have been designed to naturally break off after four to six weeks.

“We are very excited to be part of another release at Mallee Cliffs National Park, particularly on World Wildlife Day,” she said.

“We’ve fitted each animal with a tiny collar that will allow us to monitor the phascogales’ transition into their new environment and will give us vital information into their movements and behaviour.

March 3 is a symbolic day for the release as it marks World Wildlife Day, a celebration led by the United Nations. Zoos SA are using the occasion to bring attention to the 26 national and international conservation priorities which they are working on.

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Our Favourite Red-Tailed Phascogale Fact!

Male red-tailed phascogales work hard to mate as much as possible during the breeding season. This exhausts them so much that most die soon after. Females may survive for two to three years and produce several groups of young throughout their lives.

Image: © Zoos SA

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